MigrationWatch media response statement to asylum and East European workers figures issued today. Asylum figures for 2004.


February 22, 2005

Applications appear to have flattened out at about 10,000 a quarter, or 800 a week including dependants.

88% were refused both asylum and humanitarian protection at initial decision. Most appealed but nearly 80% of appeals were dismissed.

The timeliness of decisions is improving with nearly 2/3rds of cases settled within six months but removals are stuck at 1100 a month. Over the full year they are down 18% on 2003. This is largely because the government inflated the 2003 figures by removing East Europeans despite their impending membership of the EU.

Last year 50,000 claims were finally rejected but only 12,000 were removed; these numbers do not include dependants.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK said, 'The government have done what they can within the present framework but the problem is very far from resolved. (We are still second only to France and above the United States and Germany in the league table.) And the number of asylum seekers receiving support is, at 61,000, more than half the size of the British army.

‘The Prime Minister has pledged that monthly removals1 will exceed unfounded applications by the end of this year. Over the past two years, failed claims have run at about 70% of applications. If the inflow remains at about 40,000 a year there will be roughly 2,300 unfounded applications a month while removals are still less than half that. This looks like another promise likely to remain unfulfilled. The case for pulling out of the out dated international framework grows ever stronger.’

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